A Brief History of the Chimney Sweep

Although the chimney sweeper has been around for several centuries, it is still an important profession today.  It was in 16th century England that fireplaces and chimneys began to proliferate. Oftentimes fireplaces were installed in every room of the house to provide heat. In 17th century England coal began to replace wood, which meant there was a lot of soot in the chimney that had to be cleaned off. If the soot was not removed, the backed-up chimney polluted the home with toxic fumes.

In London during this time, Queen Victoria’s mandate was that all chimneys must be regularly cleaned. Orphan boys were often used as chimney sweeps because they could climb inside the narrow chimney flues and sweep off the soot. In 1864, the use of young boys as chimney sweeps was outlawed in England. Around the same time, new methods of chimney cleaning were used, such as an iron ball and rope system that worked its way in the chimney from top to bottom. Also, a set of canes and brushes were invented, which became the first variations of the modern tools used today.

Today’s chimney sweeps, like those at Complete Chimneys in Maryland abide by designated codes and learn the science involved in chimneys and fireplaces. The crew at Complete Chimneys—that provide the services for chimney repair in Maryland—consists of inspectors, construction teams, and repair experts that offer a comprehensive list of chimney services. Review the website at CompleteChimneys.com or call (410) 544-7600 for more information.